Nov. 19, 2001
UCLA THIS WEEK: The UCLA men's water polo team, ranked second in the nation, travels to Spieker Aquatics Complex this weekend to compete in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Championship. The winner of the tournament gains an automatic berth to the NCAA Final Four on Dec. 1-2.
MPSF TOURNAMENT: Friday's First Round Pairings
9:30 a.m.-#8 UC Irvine (6-12) vs. #9 Pacific (6-12), loser out
11 a.m.-#4 Pepperdine (13-4) vs. #5 Long Beach State (12-6)
12:30 p.m.-#3 USC (11-6) vs. #6 California (13-6)
2 p.m.-#2 UCLA (13-3) vs. #7 UC Santa Barbara (8-11)
3:30 p.m.-#1 Stanford (17-1) vs. UCI/Pacific winner
If they beat the Gauchos, the Bruins continue play Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against the USC/Cal winner. (A loss to UCSB would mean a 12:30 start on Saturday) The championship match is set for Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
LAST WEEKEND: UCLA took care of crosstown rival USC for the third time this season, defeating the Trojans 6-5 in the regular season finale last Saturday at McDonald's Swim Stadium. Freshman driver Brett Ormsby (El Cajon/Valhalla) picked up a hat trick and scored the tie-breaking goal on a power play with 2:42 left in the match. Ormsby has scored eight goals in three matchups with USC in 2001. The victory snapped USC's six-game winning streak.
Junior utility Dan Yeilding (San Clemente) scored twice in the opening period and Ted Peck (Fr., Irvine/University) also tallied as the Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead. USC recovered and gained its first tie at 5-5 late in the third quarter when Daniel Lontay converted a man-up opportunity. Both teams had chances in the final period, but Ormsby was the only one to cash in.
UPCOMING OPPONENTS: The Bruins defeated UCSB 8-7 on Nov. 4 in their lone meeting this season ... UCLA beat Cal 8-6 in overtime on Oct. 20 at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center.
BRUIN STATS: Ormsby, a two-time Mikasa/MPSF Player of the Week, continues to lead UCLA with 33 goals. Senior two-meter Alfonso Tucay (Burbank/Burroughs) follows with 26 and Albert Garcia (So., Long Beach/Wilson) has 21 ... The Bruins have won all of their close games this season, posting an 8-0 record in matches decided by two goals or less.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Bruins have several routes for earning a bid to the NCAA tournament, which will be held Dec. 1-2 at Stanford's Avery Aquatic Center ... Besides winning the tournament and the automatic berth, the Bruins can qualify just by meeting Stanford in the MPSF final ... Should the Bruins not make the final, they can still get the NCAA at-large berth by winning two games and Stanford winning the MPSF title ... If both Stanford and UCLA are upset, the Bruins would likely lose out to the Cardinal for the at-large bid to the NCAA Final Four.
NATIONAL POLL: The weekly American Water Polo Coaches' Association collegiate poll will be released Wednesday at 2 p.m. PST ... The poll can be viewed at www.collegiatewaterpolo.com.